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Snow Removal in Coconino County
The Flagstaff area is well known for its majestic beauty, its distinctive seasons and its "small town" atmosphere. At a 7000-foot elevation, residents and visitors alike can enjoy winter recreation, including sledding and skiing. However, with the snow season comes necessary awareness of precautions.
Our average annual snowfall in the Flagstaff area is 108.8 inches. Some winters are more severe than others, which means that we need to be prepared for the worst possible conditions in order to keep the roads clear and safe for our residents and visitors.
There are many misconceptions about snow removal and they vary depending on which side of the windrow you end up on! First, it is impossible to plow without leaving a windrow. If the snowplow operator were to back up at each driveway and remove the windrows, many people would not get their roads plowed in a timely manner. Windrows placed in the middle of the street would have to be moved at a tremendous expense or be left, which causes both mobility and safety concerns.
When snow is removed from the roadway, the snowplow operator has to pile it as far off the shoulder as possible to protect the surface of the road and make room for additional snow from future storms. This creates a windrow or berm. Individuals are responsible for clearing away the windrow from residential driveways, business entrances, and mailboxes. Please do not shovel the snow back into the street. This can be dangerous and could cause you to be liable in case of an accident.
It may be helpful to understand the snow removal philosophy adopted by the County. The schedule is prioritized on a greatest impact basis. The main arterials, collectors, and main residential streets are plowed first in that order.
Sometimes, due to heavy snowfall, we have to stay on the arterial roads longer than we would like because they are the top priority. This allows our citizens some mobility within the community and keeps emergency services access as open as possible. Once these routes are accessible, side streets and cul-de-sacs are plowed.
Private roads are not maintained by the County. Homeowners are encouraged to call private snow removal contractors as soon as the need arises.
The Arizona Department of Transportation is responsible for Interstate Highway and State Route snow removal. The City of Flagstaff, likewise, is responsible for all roads within the city limits that fall within their jurisdiction. Coconino County plows all roads that are outside of the city limits and not part of the state system, which fall within the County's jurisdiction.
Parking & County Ordinance 2022-06
In November 2022 Coconino County adopted Ordinance 2022-06, which prohibits parking on County roadways between November 1 and April 1. All motor vehicles should be kept clear of the streets to expedite snow removal operations and to prevent damage to county snowplows or private vehicles. Any motor vehicle parked in a manner that presents an obstacle to efficient snow removal operations may be cited by the Sheriff's Department and may be towed away and stored at the owner's expense.
For questions about snow removal operations and related road conditions, please contact the following:
Emergencies: To report snow-related road emergencies, please call 9-1-1.
Snow Removal Operations: For County maintained roads, please call Public Works at 928-679-8300 during normal business hours (7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.).
City of Flagstaff: If you have questions about snow operations in the City of Flagstaff call the Public Works Office at 928-213-2100 during normal business hours.
Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT): For highway road conditions, please call 5-1-1 or visit ADOT’s online Traffic Operations Center at www.az511.gov.
National Weather Service (NWS): For weather information about winter storms, please visit the NWS web page at www.weather.gov/flagstaff.
Coconino County Sheriff's Department: 928-774-4523